Weight training - Pre-adolescent strength training - Just do it!
Narelle Sibte – Strength & Conditioning Coach, Australian Institute of Sport
- For many years it was thought that pre-adolescent children were incapable of improving strength through resistance training
- Over the last 25 years, several studies have shown that preadolescent children are capable of safely improving muscle strength with appropriate training regimes. A review of strength training improvements in children found that the majority of studies demonstrated strength gains between 13-30% as a result of resistance training over an 8-12 week period.
- Strength increases twofold between the ages of 7 and 12 years, with average values slightly greater in boys. Some would argue that failure to start resistance training before 16 may be detrimental to playing longevity.
- At puberty, the strength of girls plateau’s, while stimulated by testosterone, muscle strength in boys increases. In initial stages of training, girls have potential to improve more than boys, as generally speaking, they start from a lower status.
- Gains from strength training for preadolescents are generally attributed to the nervous system and motor learning, rather than hormones.
- Preadolescents make similar relative gains in strength compared to later stages of development but usually demonstrate smaller absolute strength increases following strength training.
These findings have implications for injury prevention and performance enhancement for young athletes. Recommendations: Strength training for pre-adolescent athletes should focus on skills and technique. Since improvements from strength training come from neuromuscular development in this age group, this is the ideal time to teach co- ordination and stability. There is no minimum age requirement for children undertaking resistance training programs, but participants should have the emotional maturity to accept and follow directions and should understand the potential benefits and risks associated with strength training. In a growing number of cases it would appear that the musculoskeletal systems of many young athletes are ill prepared to handle the demands of practice, games and tournament schedules. If we are to keep getting great results at major sporting events, we need to invest the time and money into the long-term development of our young athletes. So as one of the shoe manufacturers say – strength training for children, JUST DO IT!
Open Day - Saturday 5th October 2013
Come down an experience what we have to offer to help you prepare yourself off season. Meet our team and chat to us on how a FFF Fitness specialist can help you - Day starts at 10am (register 9.30am) and concludes at 12.30pm. compare your results to State and National standards. » Read More
Harlequins Summer Rugby Union Strength and Conditioning Academy
This fitness and conditioning program is based upon a 16 week periodised plan. We will be holding two sessions a week commencing 2nd October 2012; with 2.5 weeks break over christmas/new year. To ensure standards are high, each player will be monitored and tested initially. Results will determine minimum standards set by the trainers for progressive development. » Read More
Melbourne's Premiere Pre and Post Rugby Union Academy
Commencing 4th October 2011; we’re providing a 6 month pre and post strength and conditioning program for all aspiring rugby union players in Victoria. To ensure high standards are achieved in speed and endurance; testing with speed gates, agility and VO2 max will be completed. Max strength tests, vertical jump, skin folds and girth measurements will also be completed in the gym. This will follow with an intensive outdoor session twice a week at varying locations with a 3 week break over Christmas/New year. All levels welcomed. Personalised periodised programs will take into account age, position and personal work ons (PWOs). You will kick off the rugby union season in 2012 fitter, faster and more functional!
“Hets programme gave me Insight into what it is like to train like pro- fessional athletes do in the off season. It gave me the opportunity to learn new drills while also working on my own personal fitness and goals. I set out at the start of the programme at 71kgs to achieve a weight of 80kgs and to improve in all areas of my fitness. I was very happy to achieve a weight of 79kgs at the start of the rugby season, and a gain by almost 20% in all areas of our testing, It improved my fitness and size which lead to playing in the U/20 state team this year” Andrew Blannin.
HETS Programme Takes Flight
On the 16th November 2010 , Fast Fit Functional launched and exciting service for all Rugby Union players in Melbourne. 20 male players ranging from Senior, Colts and School boys fronted up to be put through their paces, as well as six female rugby players from the Monash Women's Rugby Football team. Testing involved a speed test over 10m, 20m and 40m distances using electronic gates; the Illi- nois agility test and the Yo Yo level 1 test. These international tests are standard to assess current base aerobic and anaerobic fitness as well as explosiveness and agility speed. During that week the same group of players underwent strength testing and various girth/skin fold measurements. On the 24th November, the training commenced at the Harlequins rugby club. Individual strength programmes were handed out to players to start working on their base strength and fitness. Rehab programmes were also given out as some players were carrying post season injuries. The women's team training took place at a separate venue and were also given weights programmes. The squad then met on a Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon to be put through challenging physical sessions which included intervals, water bag and sled work. These sessions will roll over to 2011 with retesting at the end of February. Gains will be inevitable for each player that has followed our programme.
The programme is split into 3 phases and each one is built upon the other; the first being the Prep phase followed by the Specific phase finishing with the Comp phase. The athlete will be peaking at the right time.
Fast Fit Functional is headed by Jose Thomas and David Batty; two highly qualified and experienced trainers in Strength & Conditioning for Rugby Union players. Proudly supported by “Kooga Rugby”, “Harlequins Rugby” and the “Essendon Bombers” fitness team. The Fast Fit Functional mission state- ment is simply :To unlock the physical and mental potential of each athlete in their chosen sport - post, pre and in-season. Players will have more consistent Speed, Agility, Strength, Flexibility, Coordination, Balance, Endurance and Power. These Bio Motor functions and their neurological demands will be matched to the chosen sport and relevant position to create overall functional fitness.